Michael Jackson became a pop god because we worshippedhim. Ozzy Osbourne became big because a lot of us liked to hate him. In a surveyof people who listen to the Howard Stern Show, more than half said they don’tlike Stern or his show, but listen just to hear what he’ll say next. Americanschoose who becomes popular, whether it’s because we like or don’t like them.*NSync and Marilyn Manson are two examples.
*NSync is the beautifulAmerican dream. Pre-teen girls go ga-ga over them, learning all their lyrics,having *NSync parties and watching their videos on MTV. But MTV doesn’t just show*NSync videos. When Manson’s “Dope Show” video comes on, the pre-teengirls don’t change the channel. Instead, they watch and get freaked out byhim.
Meanwhile, when pre-teen boys who have been made fun of at school seethe androgynous Manson on MTV, they connect. He’s hurt and angry at the world.
Through Manson, they find a beauty in themselves. When they watch MTV and an*NSync video comes on, though, they don’t change the channel. No, they sit thereand make fun of it.
Ironically, the devil’s biggest supporter is thepreacher who constantly talks about him; that is why Marilyn Manson has becomepopular. Parents despise his sick image; his popularity is fueled by fear andhate. He hates everything, or at least tries to. If American music entertainmentwere a magnet, Marilyn Manson would be the negative end.
*NSync is thepositive end of that magnet. They’re full of smiles as they prance around singingabout love. Most parents don’t care if their child listens to *NSync; it’s nice,catchy music.
*NSync and Marilyn Manson are opposites, but they exist inthe same society. *NSync decides what is popular; Manson is a refuge foroutcasts. Both offer a little security for an insecure world.
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